Pre Visit Information
At Belipola you will experience an eco-friendly, rural, ’get away from it all’ experience. We are not a regular hotel or homestay, so we have included some things to be aware of before you come:
- Rooms are simple, low-toxic and ecologically friendly. It is up to you to maintain your room for yourself for the time you are here.
- Bathrooms are basic and shared. Showers have a small instant electric heater so are warm but not hot. They are wet bathrooms, so you need to use the squidgy to keep it dry for the next person.
- Alcohol is not sold at Belipola. If you bring your own, please drink responsibly.
- Malaria and other mosquito borne diseases are common in Sri Lanka but not at Belipola (due to its elevation – 1200m). If you are coming from overseas, consult your doctor regarding malaria prophylaxis for Sri Lanka. There are very few mosquitos at Belipola. There are leaches in the forest in rainy season (October-mid January). We make an all-natural mosquito repellent balm which can be used against leeches an mosquitoes alike (Rs300 – available at Belipola).
- Food is vegetarian, organic, fresh from the garden and delicious. Generally, breakfast is a matter of helping yourself to the fruit, bread, etc that is in the kitchen. Lunch is the main meal and is usually rice, curry and salad. Dinner is lighter and similar to lunch.
- You may be doing work in the garden, farm or forest. If you wish to protect your hands, please bring a pair of work gloves. If you enjoy working outdoors, please bring your own secateurs (garden scissors).
- Hi speed wifi / internet is available in the office (but please limit your downloads). Bring your own laptop/smartphone.
- Cellphones: Dialog provides the best coverage in Sri Lanka. However, the free sim card that they may give you as you go through immigration is a “special” tourist sim card. Charges seem to be higher and the card will expire after one month, requiring a trip into Bandarwella with your passport to the Dialog shop to get the card unblocked. If the card requires your passport number to be activated then you have a tourist sim card. The sim cards sold at the Dialog booth in the airport arrivals lounge seem to be be okay – make sure you check. Safest to just by a sim card at a regular shop.
- Mains Electricity is available most of the time (but we do experience blackouts from time to time).
- Although Sri Lanka is in the tropics, Belipola is at 1200m and subtropical. It can get cold so bring a sweater. Be aware of dehydration when working in the gardens, please bring a refillable water bottle. Wet season is usually from October to January (but can run early or late). It will rain for a few hours most days.
- In the rainy season, usually November to January, it will rain for most of the day. During this time, the forest floor becomes home to leeches, small worms, that feed on blood from vertebrate and invertebrate animals, including humans! They are easy to take off if you are just wearing flip flops. If you are worried about leeches, we advise to get leech socks before you come.
- Money: the nearest ATMs that accept international credit cards are in Bandarawella (12kms away).
- Bring: mosquito repellant, flashlight/ torch, hat, long sleeved shirt, sunscreen, a little spending money. (All are available in Bandarawella, 12 kms away).
- Pets: Please make other arrangements for your beloved pets as we cannot accommodate them.
- There are pet dogs on the property and you may be greeted by barking. They are friendly and are simply letting us know you have arrived.
- Getting here and away: See How to find us
- Things to do: Take a look at Things to do Around Belipola for a hint of some of the many interesting and exciting things you can do in our area.
- Take a look at our Wish List. You may have a phone or laptop that you don’t use anymore that would make a big difference to us and our work.